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Syria Shoots Down Turkish Fighter Jet

This is a discussion on Syria Shoots Down Turkish Fighter Jet within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Syria said Friday it shot down a Turkish military plane that entered Syrian air space, after Turkey confirmed that it ...


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Old June 23rd, 2012   #1
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Syria Shoots Down Turkish Fighter Jet

Syria said Friday it shot down a Turkish military plane that entered Syrian air space, after Turkey confirmed that it has lost two fighter jets along the borders with Syria.




Late Friday, Syria's state-run news agency, SANA, said the military spotted an "unidentified aerial target" that was flying at a low altitude and at a high speed.

"The Syrian anti-air defenses counteracted with anti-aircraft artillery, hitting it directly," SANA said. "The target turned out to be a Turkish military plane that entered Syrian airspace and was dealt with according to laws observed in such cases."

Turkey issued a statement Friday night following a two-hour security meeting led by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying Syrian forces downed the plane and that the two Turkish pilots remain missing.

It said Turkey "will determinedly take the necessary steps" in response, without saying what those actions would be.

"Following the evaluation of data provided by our related institutions and the findings of the joint search and rescue efforts with Syria, it is understood that our plane was downed by Syria," the statement said, without providing other details.
Relations between Turkey and Syria were already tense before the downing of the F4 plane on Friday.

Turkey has joined the US front for toppling President Bashar al-Assad government in Syria.

Syria and Turkey have expelled each other's ambassadors. Turkey supports Syrian opposition and even allows Syrian rebels and terrorists to operate out of Turkish soil.

Turkey's military provided no details on the downed plane's mission Friday, but some Turkish TV reports said it was on a reconnaissance flight.

Syria said the jet violated its air space over territorial waters, penetrating about 1 kilometer (0.62 mile), but that Syrian vessels joined the search for it, according to Turkey's NTV television. It said Syria forces realized that it was a Turkish jet after firing at it.
Syria Shoots Down Turkish Fighter Jet
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Old June 23rd, 2012   #2
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I wonder what system shot it down... S-300?


Either way I dont get this on Turkeys part....did they think they were just gona fly near the Syrian border untouched?
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Old June 23rd, 2012   #3
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More like an ZSU-23mm anti air system of some variant.
Remember the RF-4E Phantom was flying low level.
I guess the Syrians initially mistaken it for an Israeli jet..
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Old June 23rd, 2012   #4
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Originally Posted by Haavarla View Post
More like an ZSU-23mm anti air system of some variant.
Remember the RF-4E Phantom was flying low level.
I guess the Syrians initially mistaken it for an Israeli jet..
What are the capabilities of Turkish RF-4E as a reconaissance platform? Does anyone have any info about it?
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Old June 23rd, 2012   #5
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I don't have anything on its armament/capability other than it was on a Recon mission.
There are other whom can answer this better.
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Old June 23rd, 2012   #6
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aside from the political ramifications, if it was indeed shot down by AAA it doesn't show much for turkish:

a) mission planning
b) EW
c) aircrew proficiency
d) standoff recce range of RF4E
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Old June 23rd, 2012   #7
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What does Turkey aim to achieve by promoting the disintegration of the Syrian state?
> massive movement of refugees.
> al qaeda on its borders.
> a resurgent PKK
> regional instabilty.
> a hostile Iran.
> strengthen of the right wing sunni Arabs in the region.

Turkeys should no tbe looking forward to Christmas!
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Old June 24th, 2012   #8
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I think the Syrian Air Defence Battery dealt with the intruder very capably. I know its easy just to dismiss it as the downing of an F4, but it is still the downing of a NATO aircraft; by which I mean an Aircraft set to a least the minimum NATO standard.

That is quite interesting.
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Old June 24th, 2012   #9
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What is the NATO Minimum standard?

Are you referring to the something like 180Hrs a year for aircrew? Because I would argue that is a poor measure of warfighting capability.
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Old June 24th, 2012   #10
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I mean the technical standard for operating within NATO's C4ISR.
Don't ask we what it is,as I have absolutely no idea, but I do recall the Baltic States having to commit to spend/borrow small fortunes to update their Radar;s and other systems when they joined the alliance.

Correct me If I am wrong but my assumption is that the Avionics of a NATO jet has to be of a certain standard to be any use to the organisation.
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Old June 24th, 2012   #11
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I think the Syrian Air Defence Battery dealt with the intruder very capably.
Judging by the Syrian side of the story there were two Phantoms at low level over Syrian “blowing the roofs of houses” and only when escaping out to sea did they down one. So they got it on the way out. The Turkish side of the story is the unarmed Phantom was on a test flight 13 NM of the Syrian coast when it was hit by a missile and it lost control and crashed just offshore from Syria. Neither version is particularly covering the Syrians with glory (nor the Turks).

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I know its easy just to dismiss it as the downing of an F4, but it is still the downing of a NATO aircraft; by which I mean an Aircraft set to a least the minimum NATO standard.
The Turkish F-4s are upgraded with some pretty impressive Israeli systems. Such a plane is more capable than most F-16s. Of course it doesn’t matter how capable it is if you are just flying along peacefully in international airspace with your defensive systems turned off you are highly vulnerable to a surprise attack. Which as the Turks claim they were doing is insanely stupid just of the coast of a hostile dictatorship state in the midst of a civil war.
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Old June 24th, 2012   #12
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Correct me If I am wrong but my assumption is that the Avionics of a NATO jet has to be of a certain standard to be any use to the organisation.
All the best avionics in the world won't do you any good if you fly at low level right over the top of a ground based air defence position. Or if you are cruising along with everything turned off. Both demonstrate remarkable tactical incompetence by the Turkish Air Force.
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Old June 24th, 2012   #13
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Originally Posted by Haavarla View Post
More like an ZSU-23mm anti air system of some variant.
Remember the RF-4E Phantom was flying low level.
I guess the Syrians initially mistaken it for an Israeli jet..
The Syrians have a good number of more modern systems, like the Pantsyr, or the Buk-M2E. Even the Pechora-2M variants aren't too bad. If one of them was involved, it's hardly surprising that an older NATO jet got shot down.

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All the best avionics in the world won't do you any good if you fly at low level right over the top of a ground based air defence position. Or if you are cruising along with everything turned off. Both demonstrate remarkable tactical incompetence by the Turkish Air Force.
Both parties could be lying, albeit for different reasons. The Turks would rather admit incompetence then malice, and the Syrians would rather claim Turkish guilt beyond reason rather then claim some sort of technical competency by shooting down the plane in a tactically sound situation.
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Old June 24th, 2012   #14
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The Syrians have a good number of more modern systems, like the Pantsyr, or the Buk-M2E. Even the Pechora-2M variants aren't too bad. If one of them was involved, it's hardly surprising that an older NATO jet got shot down.
The relative age of the aircraft or missile has little to do with it. If you fly the newest aircraft into the no escape zone of the oldest missile and don’t attempt to defeat its interception and it doesn’t malfunction it will fuse where it is meant to and you’re done for.

The Turkish media are now claiming the aircraft had flown out from Turkey towards Cyprus descending from 7,500 feet to 2,000 feet. Then turned 180 degrees and flew back towards Turkey at low level down to 200 feet and cutting the corner through Syrian airspace (but still over water). Then over Turkey turned 180 again and headed back to sea near Cyprus at 3,000 feet to repeat the manoeuvre. While passing Syrian airspace it was shot down. Crashing 90 degrees and 10 NM to the left of its flight path in Syrian waters.

If the Turkish story is legit and judging by the range from the coast, target altitude and the crossing nature of the target the engagement system was probably a theatre level system like SA-5. The fighter was probably then seriously damaged and they tried to fly to shore (explaining the 10 miles travel for 3,000 feet in altitude) before crashing. Or if the Turkish plane was actually inside Syrian waters when engaged the missile could have been a tactical system (Buk or Pantsir) and the plane went straight down after being hit.
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Old June 24th, 2012   #15
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Well actually, an SA-5 missile brought the plane down. There is a video on youtube showing the missile as it fired away but the moment when it hit the F-4 is not visible.


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I wonder what system shot it down... S-300?


Either way I dont get this on Turkeys part....did they think they were just gona fly near the Syrian border untouched?
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